Despite my consistent digs at Mariah Carey, I’m a longtime fan, and I remember the original Mariah as a down-to-earth girl from New York that was in over her head in an unhealthy marriage, which simultaneously shackled her creativity. As soon as it ended, her real personality came through, and she became ever-the-more likable. Then . . . something changed. My guess is that the superstar could not adjust to the changing tide of social media, and she might also have thin skin. Her fashion choices stayed stagnant in over-the-top, glamorous gowns and her attempt to brush-off controversial questions resulted in an out-of-touch hand waves with excessive “Dah-Lings.” And for some time, that was Jennifer Lopez’s problem too. Anyone who has been in this business for over a decade is well aware of the drama that surrounded Lopez’s original team and their untouchable diva demands, which were often unknown by Lopez herself. She admits to making serious adjustments, and the impressive about-face was shockingly effective. After all, if her career can survive that Bennifer debacle, it can survive just about anything. So why did Lopez change and Mariah didn’t? Again, my guess is she cannot accept criticism, and in a recent on-the-street interview, she once again took aim at Lopez. As it turns out, Mariah might have reason to resent Lopez, but you’d never know it from her limited explanations, and as far as the public’s concerned, she just seems mean spirited. Here’s a timeline of their feud, and the reasons behind it.
2001: Jennifer Lopez allegedly stole Mariah Carey’s idea to sample Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker” for JLO’s hit song “I’m Real.” Mariah had planned to use the song for “Loverboy,” but Lopez beat her to the punch. Rumor has it Carey’s ex-husband Tommy Mottola got wind of Mariah’s plan and orchestrated the theft for Lopez, who was his artist at the time.
2002: When asked about the stolen sample, Mariah said, “Let’s just say they did me a favor. And they know who they are. And thank you, sweetie. And your friend who did it with you!” Sources suggest that the “sweetie” in question is Jennifer Lopez, and the shady business gave Carey leverage to make an early exit from her Sony contract, which resulted in a huge new contract with EMI/Virgin.
2008: In an interview with a German television show, Mariah sang the praises of Beyonce, but when asked about Jennifer, she infamously said, “I don’t know her.”
2015: Mariah explains she was “just being honest,” and really doesn’t know Jennifer Lopez
2016: Mariah “Still doesn’t know Jennifer Lopez”
2016: Jennifer Lopez visits Watch What Happens Live and won’t take Andy Cohen’s bait. She continued to deny any ill-feelings toward Mariah.
When Beyonce performed ‘Formation’ at the Super Bowl with references to The Black Panthers, Malcolm X, and the Black Lives Matter movement, it inspired both praise AND outrage. Her dancers wore Black-Panther style berets, posed with a black power salute and held a sign that said, “Justice for Mario Woods,” a man shot dead by police in San Francisco. Her heated half-time show came on the heels of the video she released just a day before, which showed her siting on top of a police car, along with a young boy wearing a hoodie dancing in front of police officers (clearly in relation to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old black child teenager was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer on his way back from a convenience store where he purchased candy. Martin was wearing a hoodie at the time). Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, also donated money to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been widely criticized because many suggest that “All Lives Matter” would be a more appropriate title. But to quote Bill Maher, “All Lives Matter” “implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. In short, this is a strong political statement for a standout celebrity who began her career singing about soft subjects like “Bills, Bills, Bills.”
The reaction to Beyonce’s message have been bold and swift. Most notably, Javier Ortiz, president of Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #20, which represents 1,100 officers said that “The Miami Fraternal Order of Police has voted to have all law enforcement officers boycott Beyoncé’s concert which is being held at the Miami Marlins Stadium,” and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that he “thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.”
So who, if anyone, is right? It’s baffling that extremely intelligent, educated people cannot wrap their minds around respecting the good guys and admonishing the bad. We are capable of thinking multiple thoughts at once. We can respect the police officers who risk their lives for our safety while also criticizing the ones whose decisions are largely influenced by race, even if it’s latent. We can also call-out a system that is above repercussions, as we have so often seen. There’s not one doubt in my mind that Beyonce respects our armed forces, and our police officers, but she’s black, as SNL so hilariously pointed out, and it’s refreshing to see someone with a spotlight shining on them stand next to something that matters. Kudos to her for using such a large platform to inspire conversation about something other than a nipple piercing. There is not one right answer, but it’s time we started talking, and hopefully Beyonce got the first word, not the last.
There are few disrupters in mainstream music, and Kendrick Lamar makes the list. On the heels of Beyonce’s kick-ass ‘Formation’ video, Lamar graciously performed at the Grammy’s, proving that even though that awards show doesn’t deserve him, he will give his consistent 100% amidst the night’s many non-contenders. Watch below to see Lamar perform “Alright” off his sophomore album, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly.’ He won five Grammys, and was nominated for seven.
It would be wildly unfair to compare Coldplay to Beyonce and Bruno Mars. First, Chris Martin is in an actual band and writes his own music (that’s a hit at Beyonce, not Mars, since Mars does in fact co-write his songs). Second, his songs have longstanding impact, and the guy doesn’t dance. Why? Because he doesn’t need to. Anyone who has attended a Coldplay concert is well aware of Martin’s live-performance skills, and in fact — I became a fan only AFTER seeing them live for the first time via my friend’s extra ticket. Having said all that, it’s the Super Bowl, and if you can’t dance, you better call upon people who can. Stay in your lane, and go to others for the glitter. And who better to bring it than Beyonce? Only Queen Bey can use the Super Bowl as a venue to debut a new song, executing insane choreography, great costumes, and dominating more than just the stage itself. Bruno Mars also deserves accolades, but even the Uptown Funkmaster himself couldn’t hold his own in the Beyonce dance-off, using his turn to simply tilt his head and flutter across the stage with his arms behind his back. Seriously Bruno, you couldn’t push yourself just a tad harder with the choreography? It might not be Chris Martin’s lane, but it’s certainly yours. But Bruno also brought it, and just about anyone would look lesser next to our eternal Single Lady. Watch below to see one of the best halftime shows I’ve seen in some time, and then enjoy some very funny tweets at Chris Martin’s expense. It might be mean spirited, but something tells me Martin can take a good joke.
I’d love to meet the genius who thought up a ballet concept behind Ciara’s “I Bet,” and simply phoned in the idea with point shoes and leg warmers. It pains me to point this out, but perhaps her team could have taken some tips from Kanye West’s epic “Runaway” idea. Either go big, or burn the shoes. And who advised the on-the-floor rowing choreography, and where’s the kayak ? I appreciate her physical head-shake to indicate the “no, no, no” lyrics, though. Because you know . . . those words are really confusing. WATCH BELOW, and try not to cringe when you get to the part where she ripped off Beyonce.
Kanye West’s eruptions are now expected, and he struck again with a tamer version of his Taylor Swift take-down. He faux stormed the stage, and Beck politelyreacted with ease. Though many thought it was a self-deprecating stunt on Kanye’s part, he later confirmed his cantankerous intent, saying, “I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé.”
I have a few words for Kanye West, so I’d like him to listen. First, even if Beyonce’s album was stronger, Beck writes his own music, and is therefore operating on an entirely different level. Commissioning the best of the best in the business to write, produce, and create your work puts you at an unfair advantage, and makes you less deserving. Second, art is subjective, and Kanye West is not its arbiter. Third, I don’t appreciate ruining someone’s moment, no matter who it is or what the circumstances. Watch below.
In a lip-sync battle that easily entered the Emma Stone dimension, Will Farrell, Kevin Hart, and Jimmy Fallon fought it out for the title. Farrell easily earned the win, and his hilarious antics still shock me. Who would guess from looks alone that the guy would booty-dance to Beyonce? Watch below.
In a visual extravaganza worthy of a Lisa Frank caboodle, Katy Perry stepped onto the Super Bowl stage to lip-sync her catchy catalog of pop tunes beside lots of people doing lots of actual work. I realize the Super Bowl almost mandates lip-syncing, but if you’re not going to dance, then your presence could be replaced by nearly any other person that wants to Karaoke. Judging from my arm-chair survey, the dancing sharks were a hit, but other than that — I can’t see much success. Beyonce looked like she was going to pass out from all that choreography, and Katy simply swayed beside some beach balls. Lenny Kravitz should have just done the entire show. WATCH BELOW.
Somewhere in the world of Mike Huckabee, there’s a cartoonish culture clash between Bubbas and Bubbles, with the latter living far from reality. According to Huckabee, “Bubbleville” has pesky Harvard graduates that can’t change your tire, adore Beyonce, and allow for broadcasts that perpetuate the “culture of crude.” Stewart squashed his bloated preach parade by showing a clip of Huckabee playing bass with Ted Nugent on television, with lyrics about “making her pussy purr.” Stewart then rightfully pointed out that he endorses Nugent simply because of his stance on firearms. As an irrelevant aside, Huckabee has gained a considerable amount of weight, and perhaps he should focus on combating obesity instead of Beyonce, given that it’s a far greater problem in this country.